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Patty melt at Alma at the Standard
Patty melt at Alma at the Standard
Joshua Lurie

11 Awesome Patty Melts For Your Next Comfort Food Fix

It's good to switch things up once in a while

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Patty melt at Alma at the Standard
| Joshua Lurie

The patty melt, an ingenious burger and grilled cheese hybrid, is a 1932 L.A. invention from Tiny Naylor. That’s right, the late, great restaurateur, whose son Biff now owns three Du-Par’s outposts across our sprawling city, started the cause right here in L.A. Thankfully, for flavor’s sake, patty melts have continued to proliferate throughout Los Angeles.

Key variables for this griddled wonder include bread choice, proprietary beef blend, and the complementary cheese (or cheese blend). Only caramelized onions are more or less constant in patty melt construction. Pickles and condiments are more modern embellishments. Well-executed, potato-fueled side dishes like French fries and potato salad (or god forbid, greens) can also help to elevate the humble patty melt to even greater new heights.

Learn about 11 of L.A.’s most devastating patty melts, listed in alphabetical order. Keep in mind that this rich sandwich has the potential to be a day-ender, so either have a bed or mug of coffee handy. Of course, no patty melt should ever be consumed with either calories or guilt in mind. Regret is never an ingredient.

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Alma at The Standard Hotel

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Ari Taymor, a 2014 Food & Wine Best New Chef, earned acclaim for luxurious combos like English muffins with uni, burrata, and caviar. That said, when he and front of house partner Ashleigh Parsons shifted Alma from Downtown to take over the diner inside The Standard, Hollywood, he dialed up comfort with dishes like the patty melt. A dripping medium rare patty joins tart pickles, melted cheese and caramelized onions between thick rafts of toasted Clark Street Bread sourdough.

Joshua Lurie

Brite Spot Family Restaurant

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This Echo Park hangout from Dana Hollister dates to 1949 and could easily double as a “Mad Men” set. Slide into a red booth or luxuriate on the aqua-walled patio with a slab of house-baked pie, or better yet, a patty melt. Their melt pretty classic, but features a couple flourishes. A half-pound patty of short rib and steak trimmings team with caramelized onions that are roasted in balsamic reduction before joining Swiss cheese in toasted rye bread.

Cassell's Hamburgers

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Chef Christian Page helped revive this L.A. classic, which debuted just down 6th Street in 1948. Now the restaurant occupies a prime Hotel Normandie corner and still uses Cassell’s original meat grinder and cross-fire broiler. Their patty melt features a house-ground chuck and brisket patty that’s available in 1/3-pound increments. No matter the size, expect caramelized onions and cheddar or Swiss cheese on griddled rye. This melt is a beast, but it’s still worth adding a side of signature potato salad folded with Turbinado sugar and mustard.

Du-par's

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The first Du-Par’s opened as a stall at The Original Farmers Market in 1938. None other than Tiny Naylor’s son Biff purchased the now-chain in 2007 and revived the original location, which features red booths, wood tables, and a patio with white picket fence and tables shaded by green umbrellas. Tiny’s Patty Melt features coarse Harris Ranch grain-fed chuck patty, caramelized onions and melted Swiss cheese on grilled rye bread. Each sandwich comes with French fries, Cole slaw, fruit or buttery griddled hashed browns.

Nickel Diner

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Kristen Trattner and Chef Monica May were early adapters to downtown, and that investment has paid off for them with The Nickel Diner, a classic spot in the Old Bank District with hand-painted menus, red booths and some of the heartiest food in the neighborhood. Their patty melt is nice and greasy, piled with Fontina cheese, caramelized onions, and Dijon mustard sauce on rye toast. Better yet, you can add onion rings for a buck.

Playa Provisions

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King Beach café resides right through the front door of the multi-faceted culinary compound in Playa del Rey from Brooke Williamson & Nick Roberts. Patty melt might not scream beach food, but it’s a great sandwich featuring a patty that combines dry-aged rib-eye and chuck. Gruyere gets some play, along with tangy house BBQ sauce, caramelized onions and bitter arugula on marble rye, which doubles as a sponge for all the beef juice if you let the melt sit too long.

Poppy + Rose

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This budding Flower District restaurant from Chef Michael Reed, Chef Ryan Lamon and front of house partner Diana Yin-Ming Lamon features a glass front, corrugated metal ceiling, and window frames on white walls. Their patty melt involves a coarse grass-fed beef patty with sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions and Swiss cheese on choice of toasted bread (white, wheat or rye). Each sandwich comes with either hand-cut Kennebec fries or a mixed green salad tossed with a choice of dressing.

The Apple Pan

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If you don’t know that The Apple Pan is committed to “Quality Forever,” ask somebody. Better yet, grab a seat in a red cushioned stool and belly up to the U-shaped counter that dates to 1947 in West L.A. Their patty melt is off-menu, featuring a griddled quarter-pound patty with sweet cooked onions and a slice of sharp melted Tillamook cheddar on a choice of white, wheat, or rye bread.

The Bellwether

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Chef Ted Hopson cranks comfort to 11 at The Bellwether, the Studio City restaurant he co-owns with Ann-Marie Verdi. French fries require a three-day process, and the patty melt is similarly ambitious. A coarse brisket, short rib, and beef shoulder patty forms a beautiful crust on a cast-iron skillet, but stays pink inside. Melted Taleggio cheese and caramelized onions join buttery grilled rye bread. Calabrian chile aioli comes on the side, so you can customize your spice preference.

Joshua Lurie

The Fountain Coffee Room

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Pass by reams of the Beverly Hills Hotel’s signature banana leaf wallpaper to reach this subterranean coffee shop with green carpets, shiny black counters and a tantalizing pie and cake case. The property is known to be luxurious and cater to celebrities, but their beef patty melt is pure comfort. A griddled sirloin patty joins cheddar and onions on grilled rye bread. Bonus: the dripping sandwich comes with creamy, crunchy cole slaw.

Working Class Kitchen

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Michael Dene, a Long Beach restaurant maven that also owns Michael’s Pizzeria, Michael’s on Naples, and Chianina Steakhouse, runs this butcher shop and café in the side street ZaSo design district. Working Class Kitchen has access to lean, buttery Chianina beef that’s grass-fed in Utah. For their melt, a juicy top sirloin patty joins Swiss cheese and punchy Dijon mustard on griddled sourdough. The establishment’s motto is Sine Labore Nihil - “Nothing Without Work” - and the effort pays off in this case.

Alma at The Standard Hotel

Ari Taymor, a 2014 Food & Wine Best New Chef, earned acclaim for luxurious combos like English muffins with uni, burrata, and caviar. That said, when he and front of house partner Ashleigh Parsons shifted Alma from Downtown to take over the diner inside The Standard, Hollywood, he dialed up comfort with dishes like the patty melt. A dripping medium rare patty joins tart pickles, melted cheese and caramelized onions between thick rafts of toasted Clark Street Bread sourdough.

Joshua Lurie

Brite Spot Family Restaurant

This Echo Park hangout from Dana Hollister dates to 1949 and could easily double as a “Mad Men” set. Slide into a red booth or luxuriate on the aqua-walled patio with a slab of house-baked pie, or better yet, a patty melt. Their melt pretty classic, but features a couple flourishes. A half-pound patty of short rib and steak trimmings team with caramelized onions that are roasted in balsamic reduction before joining Swiss cheese in toasted rye bread.

Cassell's Hamburgers

Chef Christian Page helped revive this L.A. classic, which debuted just down 6th Street in 1948. Now the restaurant occupies a prime Hotel Normandie corner and still uses Cassell’s original meat grinder and cross-fire broiler. Their patty melt features a house-ground chuck and brisket patty that’s available in 1/3-pound increments. No matter the size, expect caramelized onions and cheddar or Swiss cheese on griddled rye. This melt is a beast, but it’s still worth adding a side of signature potato salad folded with Turbinado sugar and mustard.

Du-par's

The first Du-Par’s opened as a stall at The Original Farmers Market in 1938. None other than Tiny Naylor’s son Biff purchased the now-chain in 2007 and revived the original location, which features red booths, wood tables, and a patio with white picket fence and tables shaded by green umbrellas. Tiny’s Patty Melt features coarse Harris Ranch grain-fed chuck patty, caramelized onions and melted Swiss cheese on grilled rye bread. Each sandwich comes with French fries, Cole slaw, fruit or buttery griddled hashed browns.

Nickel Diner

Kristen Trattner and Chef Monica May were early adapters to downtown, and that investment has paid off for them with The Nickel Diner, a classic spot in the Old Bank District with hand-painted menus, red booths and some of the heartiest food in the neighborhood. Their patty melt is nice and greasy, piled with Fontina cheese, caramelized onions, and Dijon mustard sauce on rye toast. Better yet, you can add onion rings for a buck.

Playa Provisions

King Beach café resides right through the front door of the multi-faceted culinary compound in Playa del Rey from Brooke Williamson & Nick Roberts. Patty melt might not scream beach food, but it’s a great sandwich featuring a patty that combines dry-aged rib-eye and chuck. Gruyere gets some play, along with tangy house BBQ sauce, caramelized onions and bitter arugula on marble rye, which doubles as a sponge for all the beef juice if you let the melt sit too long.

Poppy + Rose

This budding Flower District restaurant from Chef Michael Reed, Chef Ryan Lamon and front of house partner Diana Yin-Ming Lamon features a glass front, corrugated metal ceiling, and window frames on white walls. Their patty melt involves a coarse grass-fed beef patty with sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions and Swiss cheese on choice of toasted bread (white, wheat or rye). Each sandwich comes with either hand-cut Kennebec fries or a mixed green salad tossed with a choice of dressing.

The Apple Pan

If you don’t know that The Apple Pan is committed to “Quality Forever,” ask somebody. Better yet, grab a seat in a red cushioned stool and belly up to the U-shaped counter that dates to 1947 in West L.A. Their patty melt is off-menu, featuring a griddled quarter-pound patty with sweet cooked onions and a slice of sharp melted Tillamook cheddar on a choice of white, wheat, or rye bread.

The Bellwether

Chef Ted Hopson cranks comfort to 11 at The Bellwether, the Studio City restaurant he co-owns with Ann-Marie Verdi. French fries require a three-day process, and the patty melt is similarly ambitious. A coarse brisket, short rib, and beef shoulder patty forms a beautiful crust on a cast-iron skillet, but stays pink inside. Melted Taleggio cheese and caramelized onions join buttery grilled rye bread. Calabrian chile aioli comes on the side, so you can customize your spice preference.

Joshua Lurie

The Fountain Coffee Room

Pass by reams of the Beverly Hills Hotel’s signature banana leaf wallpaper to reach this subterranean coffee shop with green carpets, shiny black counters and a tantalizing pie and cake case. The property is known to be luxurious and cater to celebrities, but their beef patty melt is pure comfort. A griddled sirloin patty joins cheddar and onions on grilled rye bread. Bonus: the dripping sandwich comes with creamy, crunchy cole slaw.

Working Class Kitchen

Michael Dene, a Long Beach restaurant maven that also owns Michael’s Pizzeria, Michael’s on Naples, and Chianina Steakhouse, runs this butcher shop and café in the side street ZaSo design district. Working Class Kitchen has access to lean, buttery Chianina beef that’s grass-fed in Utah. For their melt, a juicy top sirloin patty joins Swiss cheese and punchy Dijon mustard on griddled sourdough. The establishment’s motto is Sine Labore Nihil - “Nothing Without Work” - and the effort pays off in this case.

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